Pupils and staff at Queens Park Academy in Bedford are celebrating after being given a prestigious award by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
The academy was chosen as the East of England winner of the Pupil Premium awards, a prize that helps schools from every region to identify the excellent work they are doing to help children from disadvantageous backgrounds catch up with their peers.
The award assists youngsters from primary schools by giving extra money to their establishments so they can provide intensive support, extra tutoring, or other activites to help them reach the level of their less disadvantaged classmates.
The competition’s judges said: “The school’s application was about strong, whole school improvement and includes reference to a long list of interventions which are evidence based. Queens Park has also introduced its own Pupil Premium Champion.”
Queens Park Academy is a National Support School which means they have expertise to share with other schools.
Anne McCormick, executive head teacher, said: “We are very proud of having received this award. We are particularly pleased as it acknowledges all the work we do with our children – it’s very rewarding as the extra funds will make all the difference.
“Mr Clegg was very nice and interested in us. He asked us what the funding was for and we told him it was for enrichment activities. We also held our own awards night – the children were very excited that we had our own awards . Around 200 people turned up and the atmosphere was fantastic. It was also a good way of showing how their aspirations can be raised.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “The fantastic work of Queen’s Park Academy shows how the Pupil Premium is working. They’ve appointed a pupil premium champion who can focus on raising attainment throughout the school and help close the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.
“I’m impressed with the innovative work by schools all over the East of England.”
David Laws, Schools Minister added: “The Pupil Premium is not about encouraging competition for schools funding, it’s about regarding and recognising schools that are doing a fantastic job with the Pupil Premium so other schools can learn from them.
Visit www.pupilpremiu mawards.co.uk